Such persons may or may not have classical symptoms of Covid-19, for example, high fever, breathing difficulty or low levels of oxygen in the blood.
CDC has described 27 cases wherein patients had cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, dermatologic and neurologic symptoms without severe respiratory illness.
They tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antibody assays indicating recent infection.
Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant, internal medicine at Apollo hospital, said they have also come across many patients who did not have the classical symptoms of Covid-19 but they tested positive for the infection.
“In MIS, the infection causes inflammation of organs, for example the heart or kidney. It also increases the risk of clotting, which can lead to stroke,” Dr Chatterjee added. He said Covid-19 patients who develop MIS are difficult to manage.
CDC says MIS in adults highlights the role for antibody testing. “These patients may not have positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR or antigen test results, and antibody testing may be needed to confirm previous SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the report adds.
The treatment of Covid-19 patients with MIS involves administration of steroids, intravenous immunoglobulin and interleukin-6 inhibitor, tocilizumab, among others.
MIS in children suffering from Covid-19 has been confirmed in a few cases involving children at AIIMS, Dr Jhuma Sankar, associate professor, department of paediatrics, said in a webinar held by the institute recently.
Doctors say children are able to recover faster from the disease possibly because they have strong innate immune response. “Absence of known risk factors, such as diabetes and hypertension in children, also plays a role,” experts say. However, they add, MIS in adults with pre-existing chronic illnesses can increase the risk of morbidity and mortality.
Doctors at GB Pant hospital say they have seen patients aged between 45 and 80 years who developed sudden slowing of heart rate and concurrently tested positive for Covid-19. “The inflammatory markers of these patients were very high, which is not the case with non-Covid patients coming with slow heart rate,” one of the doctors said.